For most of her life, Priah Ferguson has been a public figure. She started acting young and found immense success playing the role of Erica Sinclair in the back-to-the 80's Netflix sci-fi hit show Stranger Things. While the Duffer Brothers had only planned for Erica to make a few appearances in Season 2, her scene-stealing performances earned her a recurring role in the second season and a starring role in Seasons 3 and 4.
Speaking with Selena Hill on Black Enterprise, "When I booked Stranger Things, it was supposed to be a one-time role just to introduce like Lucas [and] his family. Because people were like, 'Oh, we want to see Lucas's family; we want to see more of that.' So when they introduced me, it was supposed to be like a one-time thing."
"But I guess… Erica kind of became like a fan favorite a little bit, and everyone liked her characters, so they just brought me back for more," she said. She concluded, noting, "I was really blessed when they brought me back. I wasn't expecting it at all, especially to become a series regular. It all kind of happened in a blink of an eye, and I'm still, it's kind of still like surreal for me."
By the time she made her debut as Lucas' sister, she was only nine years old. Notably, beyond playing Erica Sinclair, Ferguson has also featured in several films such as The Oath and The Curse of Bridge Hollow.
Balancing Acting Success and Fame
So, how has she dealt with fame while striving to live a "normal life?" How does she manage her life as a teenager while being in the spotlight as a successful actress? Well, for starters, she tries to keep everything as normal as possible. The budding star goes to public school and is set to graduate in 20215. Ferguson is also a member of the cheerleading squad. Speaking with POPSUGAR in 2022, she said, "It's been a great journey so far. I guess public school keeps me humble."
When asked by Black Enterprise whether she's treated differently in school, she notes, "Not at this school." "he added that, "I kind of grew up around these kids. So they know that I've been grinding and doing this for a minute. And [just] because I act, I don't walk around like 'I'm a celebrity.' They kind of do not really treat me on the same level. But it's kind of like a mutual thing."
She explained that she does not go around flaunting her fame in school. "It's kind of like, 'oh yeah, that's just real like. She's real cool… she's not laughing like a diva or bragging about anything at all.' So that's kind of how it is at this school right now." On the educational side of things, she has found a routine that works well for her. She has plenty of support from her teachers.
Speaking with Black Enterprise, she said she works with her teacher, and her mom liaises with the counselor. "Every year, she breaks down to them my situation. I tell my teachers when I'm going to be out, and I go."